Fish Whisperer Enterprises   

Ian Couryer- Fly Fishing Guiding Services - South Africa.  

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News letter December 2018 / new products

With all the controversy of increased levels of pollution on the Vaal River this 2018 season,many anglers have decided to stay away.

The fishing has been good thus far despite initial low flow levels of around 10 cumecs with clear vis of around 40 cms. In the last couple of weeks despite the flow readings on the Reservoir site still reading at 10, I found that at Eendekuil the flow was at least 20. Visibility has also deteriorated markedly to a dusty 30 cms. 

There has been a definite trend of late that the fishing deteriorates outside the early morning sessions and this is usually an indication of high water temperatures. I don't believe the water temperatures are particularly high but we know that decomposing sewage will rob the water of much of its oxygen causing fish to stop feeding or seek out pockets of cooler better oxygenated water. 

After a couple of dodgy self initiated experiments I would say that the water is no more harmful to ones health than it has been over the last few years,the difference being that the pollution story has only just hit main stream news and has been exploited on social media.

I have been wearing waders on the river for at least the last ten years due to the amount of time I spend in potentially polluted water. Despite wading wet this season with the normal cuts and nicks on my person, biting off flies etc I have remained healthy and without the stomach problems normally associated with this type of pollution.However It should be noted that there are other poisons and toxins in the water, so we are told, besides "floaters" that can have a far more serious impact on your health.

I am still guiding at my usual haunts on the river but please be aware that the river is polluted and so I would recommend wearing waders, breathable waders are best, wearing chest high neoprenes will probably kill you faster than any pollution in the current elevated temperatures and are not recommended, neither are cheap plastic booted numbers.If you fall in and take a few good swallows, you may be in trouble, so every person needs to decide whether the risk is worth it. 

It is my belief that these toxins were always in the system due to mining practices and illegal dumping, etc, hence the waders. It is a sad fact that many of our systems, the Vaal, the Olifants, the Jukskei and the Crocodile have been terribly abused over time and are potentially hazardous to the health of wading anglers.

Fosaf.( Federation of South African fly fishers) is recommending people don't fish the middle Vaal at all this season until such time a proper clean up has been effected. As an organization which professes to be the voice of fly fishers in this country, how about doing a few water tests? and thus help fly fishers be made exactly aware of what is in the water so they can make an educated decision whether to fish or not. That would be an organization to support! 

Celebrity Guiding with Ian Couryer.

Ian has been privileged to guide several celebrities and "A" listers over the years and continues to be the informed, trusted choice as a yellowfish guide, fly fishing mentor and consultant to many VIPs.

Recently Ian was the fly fishing consultant on an advert shoot in the Drakensberg where he helped well known local actor Gys De Villiers ( Geraamtes in die Kas) with his fly fishing.

Gys De Villiers and Ian

Local actor Gys De Villiers and Ian, Drakensberg Shoot 2014, wearing Jeep technical shirts.

At the beginning of the season Ian guided Hollywood "A" list actor and all round nice guy Lee Pace of "Lord or the Rings" fame, and more recently as the villain in "Guardians Of The Galaxy," He enjoyed a day off, getting into a few "African yellows" at a local venue.  

Hollywood actor Lee Pace and Ian on the Vaal September 2014.

6 pounds of spirited Warrenton Largemouth

Maui Jim Premium Polarized Sunglasses

After wearing and testing his new glasses for the last 4 years in a variety of fishing conditions, Ian endorses, wears and trusts Maui Jim sunglasses for all his fishing and guiding. 

Maui Jim impress with their superior optics, quality, and the best back up and guarantees in the business. Less hype and  more protection, they are in every way superior to some of the other big name products.

Spawning Smallmouth Yellowfish

Male smallmouth showing breeding tubercles on head and gill covers.

As the Smallmouth Yellowfish season starts (beginning of October) we need to be on the look out for spawning fish and avoid them. Smallmouth Yellows prefer to spawn on the downstream side of rocks in fast flowing shallow water. Water of between ankle and mid calf depth is prime water. Try to stay away from these areas and if you see fish spawning and thrashing around please leave them in peace.

Mud fish also spawn at this time of year and most of the muddies will spawn in the tail areas of riffles, often just off the main flow where the current is less intense. If you see a "step" of shallow rock extending across the river, the yellows will spawn on the downstream side at the base of the rocks and the mud fish will spawn immediately above the step in the tail of the pool / run.

Check out a picture of a seldom seen aquatic caterpillar in the Gallery.


Casting Clinics - Cedar Square Dams, R 300.00 per person per hour. Pre-booking essential.

Limited to 10 people per session.

Contact for next date available.